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Chocolate and Coffee Layer Cake

I like making layered birthday cakes – it’s always a crowd-pleaser and everyone loves it. This particular cake was made for my cousin nephew Bar for his 18th birthday, and is made of his two favorite flavors – chocolate and coffee.

Moist, rich and dark chocolate cake filled and coated with fragrant coffee cream, all topped with chocolate ganache that drips on the sides and some chocolate nut bars. Happy birthday, Bar!

Chocolate and Coffee Layer Cake

Photo: Natalie Levin



Chocolate and Coffee Layer Cake

22 cm round cake pan

Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: intermediate

For chocolate cake:
200 grams dark chocolate
150 grams butter
150 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
125 ml. (1/2 cup) milk
140 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder

For coffee cream:
500 ml. (2 cup) milk
2 tsp. granulated instant coffee
6 large egg yolks
120 grams (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) sugar
Pinch of salt
50 grams (5 tbsp.) cornstarch
50 grams soft butter
250 ml. (1 cup) heavy cream

For chocolate ganache:
100 grams dark chocolate
125 ml. (1/2 cup) heavy cream
Pinch of salt

Decoration:
Small chocolate and nut bars

Preparation:

  1. Chocolate cake: preheat oven to 170c degrees and grease the pan.
  2. Chop the chocolate and put in a bowl. Add butter and solvent together in the microwave or over double-boiler until everything is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Add sugar, salt and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, while mixing between additions.
  5. Add milk and mix until uniform.
  6. Add flour and baking powder and mix until you get a smooth batter.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan, flatten the top and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.
  8. Cool completely at room temperature and place in the refrigerator for an hour.
  9. Cut the cold cake into 2 equal layers. Refrigerate until assembly of the cake.
  10. Coffee cream: in a medium pot heat milk and coffee to simmering point.
  11. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, salt and cornstarch until blended.
  12. Pour about 1/3 of milk over the yolks while whisking, until the mixture is uniform. Add the remaining milk and mix until incorporated.
  13. Return the mixture to the pan and cook while whisking constantly until you get a very thick pastry cream.
  14. Remove from heat and add butter. Whisk until absorbed.
  15. Transfer the cream is a flat container, covering the surface with plastic wrap in order to prevent the formation of crust on top. Chill for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator until completely cold.
  16. Transfer the cold cream into a bowl and beat until it returns to the original texture.
  17. In a mixer bowl whip the cream until stable.
  18. Fold the whipped cream into the coffee cream until you get a smooth cream.
  19. Assemble cake: place one layer of the cake on a serving plate and pour over about 1/3 amount of coffee cream and flatten the top.
  20. Place over the second layer of the cake and cover the cake evenly with coffee cream. Keep about 1/4 amount of cream in a pastry bag fitted with serrated piping tip for decoration.
  21. Cool the cake in the freezer for about an hour.
  22. Chocolate ganache: chop the chocolate and put in a bowl.
  23. Add cream and salt and solvents together in the microwave or over double-boiler until everything is melted and mixture is smooth.
  24. Cool the ganache for an hour at room temperature until it sets a bit, but still relatively liquid.
  25. Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and let it drip over the sides as well.
  26. Pipe mounds of coffee cream on the sides and garnish with small chocolate and nut bars.

Notes:

  • It is recommended to prepare the cake the day before serving, so that the layers absorb some moisture and soften a little from the cream.
  • Keep the cake in a closed container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
Chocolate and Coffee Layer Cake

Photo: Natalie Levin

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